The Gestational Carrier Process

Gestational Carrier Process

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The gestational carrier process begins with a legal arrangement made with a woman to carry and deliver a baby for another couple or person. In this process, carrying the baby is referred to as the gestational surrogate or carrier. The parents who will receive the baby after its birth are called intended parents. They will remain involved throughout the term of the pregnancy and may also be present during the birth.

In gestational surrogacy, there is no genetic connection between the carrier and the baby. The egg is derived from either an egg donor or the intended mother. Similarly, the sperm is obtained from a sperm donor or the intended father. Sometimes a donor embryo may also be used.

In case a donor embryo is not used, in vitro fertilization becomes necessary to implant the embryo into the carrier’s uterus.

The gestational carrier process is complex in many realms; emotionally, financially, and sometimes even socially. However, after the birth of the intended parents’ baby, these complexities disappear.

Listed below are the steps you can expect in the gestational carrier process:

#1 Locate a Gestational Surrogate

You and your partner must decide whether to ask a friend or relative to act as your gestational surrogate. You also have the option of working with a surrogacy agency, which will help match you with a carrier with your desired traits. These experts recommend selecting a candidate with the following characteristics:

  • Age 21 to 45 years
  • Has previously had a healthy pregnancy and delivery
  • Is in sound emotional and physical health
  • Lives in a supportive environment

#2 Meet with a Fertility Counsellor

The surrogacy agency you choose to work with will require you and your gestational surrogate to meet with a mental health professional. He or she will discuss the pros and cons of taking this route, the impact it will have on your relationships, and the emotional processing involved.

#3 Attend a Medical Exam

The genetic parents will be required to attend a medical exam. This check-up is intended to examine your eggs and sperm’s health and whether they are suitable for IVF. If you’re using a donor embryo or donated eggs or sperm, they will be screened before donation.

#4 Schedule a Medical Exam for your Gestational Surrogate

Your gestational carrier will undergo a series of medical evaluations such as a physical exam, drug and medical screening, and psychological assessment. Her spouse or partner will have to undergo these tests as well.

#5 Commit to a Legal Agreement

You and your carrier must hire separate attorneys who are experienced in gestational surrogacy. This is imperative to avoid conflicts of interest. The legal agreement must protect everyone’s rights and include details related to compensation, legal custody, parental rights, future contact between parties, delivery location, and decision-making power over medical concerns during the pregnancy and insurance coverage.

In some states, if one parent is biologically related to the baby, the carrier must sign away parental rights before the baby is born. This means the intended parents’ names will be listed on the birth certificate. In other states, the carrier signs over her parental rights post-delivery.

To learn more about the gestational carrier process, please visit Rite Options.

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